Knowledge Saves Lives! Caring for Dental Patients with Eating Disorders
Presented by: Linda Douglas, RDH, BSc
Linda graduated as a dental hygienist from the Royal Dental Hospital in London, England in 1982. After working in periodontology at the Royal Dental Hospital Linda moved to Toronto, where she has worked in private general practice and periodontal practice since 1990. Her main focus is to increase awareness of the significance of the hygienist’s role in caring for patients who battle eating disorders, as she has a desire to improve support for these patients, and to increase our participation in secondary prevention of eating disorders. Linda is an affiliate member of the American Academy of Oral Medicine, and has lectured at rdhu, the Annual Townie Meeting in Las Vegas, the Toronto Academy of Dentistry Annual 2014 Winter Clinic, and the 2015 Dentistry in Paradise convention in Barbados.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric illnesses, and dental professionals are in an ideal position to help improve outcomes for such patients. This lecture provides an overview of eating disorders and their oral and systeminc warning signs, plus insight into the psychological, systemic and oral-health aspects of eating disorders. It includes suggested oral-care protocols to minimize complications, and communication strategies to facilitate disclosure and timely referral to therapists specializing in treating eating disorders. We will also discuss the ethical dilemmas we might face when communicating with the families of individuals with eating disorders.
Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to achieve the following:
Describe the oral and systemic complications of eating disorders
Discuss the psychological and social aspects of eating disorders
Describe an evidence-based, oral-care protocol for these patients
Increase awareness of health-promoting resources for individuals with eating disorders